If you’ve ever seen a commercial for cereals, toaster pastries, frozen waffles, morning shakes, or the like, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “part of this complete breakfast.” But what does that even mean? Advertisers would have you believe that even the most sugar-laden foods can be part of a complete breakfast–after all, it’s their job to sell you something. And who wouldn’t want to eat cereal that’s mimics cookies or candy all under the guise that it’s good for you?
You’re smart enough to know the foods that are too good to be true–a donut is a donut. There’s a 99.9 percent chance that it is never going to be do anything more for your body then spike your insulin, only to crash and leav
ing you tired and ravenous an hour later. But not all breakfast foods are so cut and dry, which makes planning a meal tricky terrain. Of all your meals, your first one of the morning is the one to get right. Do so and you can feel balanced and energized even on a Monday. Choose unwisely, and make way for crankiness and cravings. Don’t let the options overwhelm you; use these tips to put together a truly complete breakfast.
Protein: If you eat only one thing in the morning, pick protein. While protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, it’s also great and boosting metabolism and aiding in fat loss. The more protein you take in, the more likely you’ll be able to build and maintain muscle in your strides toward burning fat. And when compared to carbohydrates and fat, protein is the best macronutrient available for helping you to feel full. Imagine starting your day in a way that helps to reduce hunger.
Lean meats and Greek yogurt are a few options, but the most obvious way to take in protein in the a.m. is with eggs. One egg contains about 6 grams of high quality protein. While some people eat just the egg whites, the yolks contain healthy fats–another part of the complete breakfast that we’ll come back to.
Eggs are great because they are versatile. Scrambled, over-easy, or sunny-side up are probably the quickest to prepare and eat. But things like omelettes, frittatas, and quiches allow you to add in extra flavors, such as savory veggies and spicy salsas. In a pinch for time? Spend 30 or so minutes on the weekend making up a large batch of hard-boiled eggs. These make perfect grab, go, and peel morning snacks that will leave you satisfied.
Carbohydrates: When many people think of carbs, pastas, rice, and potatoes often come to mind. But fruit and veggies count as carbs, too, and are often a better choice thanks to being rich in fiber, which is good for your gut while also keeping you feeling fuller longer. Another good non-produce carb is oats. They’re slow digesting, unlike many cereals which can leave you hungry shortly after eating.
Fats: The word “fat” has such a negative connotation in our society thanks to unhealthy trans fats and saturated fats, which can wreak havoc on cholesterol, weight, and heart health. However, not all fats are created equal. Good fats–monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and omega 3s–can be a big benefit to overall body health. These fats are found in olive and peanut oils, in nuts and nut butters, and in whole foods such as avocados, olives, and fatty fishes.
Now that you know what makes up a decent breakfast, it’s time to start eating that most important meal of the day in the best way. Look for ways to creatively combine the three components. And if you need ideas for quick eats on the go, check out SlendHer’s new eBook, Eating for Fat Loss for tips on squeezing in a tasty first meal without having to wake up any earlier.
What is your go-to breakfast? Tell us in the comments!